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No stranger to the pithy himself, poet Simon Armitage has collected 101 of literature's best "very short poems" in this anthology. His criterion of shortness (as he explains in a witty introduction) is that no poem should be more than 13 lines long. This deliberately excludes the 14-line sonnet, but manages to include some famous nearly-sonnets: such as Gerard Manley Hopkins's Pied Beauty("Glory be to God for dappled things"). It's towards the end of the book, where the poems dwindle in size (they are arranged so that the longer precede the shorter), that Armitage's selection comes truly into its own. Some of the poems are so tiny they are quotable in their entirety, Gavin Ewart's "Penal", for instance: "The clanking and wanking of Her Majesty's Prison", or Edwin Morgan's Siesta of a Hungarian Snake,"s sz sz SZ sz SZ sz ZS zs Zs zs zs z." Finally, right at the end, comes a laugh-out-loud piece that manages to remain a poem while consisting of no lines whatsoever. --Sean Thomas --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
A good idea, but fails to deliver. only one poem per page, although some are single lines, which means jt takes barely an hour to get through the book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by S. Graham David
Bought for the Mrs who thoroughly enjoyed it - brownie points there then now sadly very spent out - better find another prezzie eh?!Published 19 months ago by Nick Morgan
An interesting variety of poems. As it says 'Short and Sweet' and yet not short on content and thought. An interesting book to keep and reflect on.Published 20 months ago by B. C. Dobson
Really interesting. Heard a discussion on the radio and had to read it for myself. The blank page is a really discussion piece.Published 20 months ago by Mrs. L.J. Phillips